Honda had a lot of information when it launched the 2023 HR-V earlier this month. The tiny new crossover is slightly smaller, extending its wheelbase and track over the previous model, shifting from the old Honda Fit platform to the current Honda Civic architecture. We assumed that this would also mean switching to a Civic engine. Honda did not identify what would be under the hood, instead promising that the HR-V would be more “fun to drive with improved mobility and powertrain responsiveness.” We guessed the Civic got the 2.0-liter four-cylinder call, and it looks like we weren’t wrong, if CarBuzz Is believed CarBuzz Says it has found documents submitted to the California Air Resources Board (CARB) as a 2.0-liter preferred engine.
The naturally ambitious 1.8-liter cylinder in the current HR-V produces 141 horsepower and 127 pound-feet of torque. The EPA rates it at 28 cities, 34 highways, and 30 miles per gallon when the mill only rotates the front wheel, or 27 cities, 31 highways, and 29 together when getting both axles. Pulling from the Civic naturally produces the ambitious 2.0-liter 158 hp and 138 pound-feet, which is less than the significant gain. The base FWD-shaped Civic sedan weighs just 29 pounds less than the HR-V, but its Kinder Aerodynamics delivers 31 cities, 40 highways and 35 combined mpg.
Since the HR-V now employs a CVT and the 2.0-liter is also plugged into a CVT, we think things will stay the same there, but in a slightly less fuel economy due to the shape of the car. It is possible that Honda’s promise of “more responsiveness” led to smaller changes to the powertrain to ensure drivers felt a difference, but this probably refers to the extra power of the Civic engine compared to the older HR-V. And there is still the possibility that the turbocharged 1.5-liter Civic engine may be present. Honda sold more than 137,000 HR-Vs in the United States last year; While these subcompact pilots are probably not looking for too much in the seat of their pants, the current formula is clearly successful.